Rising energy prices are leading to greater levels of fuel poverty in the UK. Around a fifth of households in the private rented sector and a quarter of households in rural areas are fuel poor. In the private rented sector, poor quality housing is a contributing factor, while in rural areas, lack of access to mains gas means that households must rely on other heating fuels such as heating oil, bottled gas or electricity.
Terms of reference
The Committee will examine the extent of fuel poverty in the private rented and off-grid sectors and options for dealing with the problem. The Committee invites written evidence is invited interested parties addressing some or all of the following questions:
- What are the barriers to tackling fuel poverty in the private rented sector?
- To what extent will the recent measures in the Energy Act 2011 (to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector) help the problem?
- To what extent is fuel poverty in rural areas driven by a lack of access to the gas grid and to what extent are other factors (such as housing condition and income levels) responsible?
- Given that the OFT found no evidence of a competition problem in the heating oil market, what (if anything) can be done to prevent a repeat of the situation in December 2010 when households were faced with high energy costs during a spell of particularly cold weather?
- How could DECC’s policies for tackling fuel poverty in the private rented sector be improved?
- How could DECC’s policies for tackling fuel poverty among off-grid consumers be improved?
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Friday 9 December 2011.
Notes on submission of written evidence
Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format-please do not use PDF format-and sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail should also make clear which organisation or individual the submission is from and must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. Any hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is Friday 9 December 2011. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. However, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this matter.
Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.
Submissions should be original work written for the Committee, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.